A to Z Challenge

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why Don't Men Dance?

Opps…that’s a rather broad generalization that will quickly get me in trouble because some men do dance…for which those of us who dance with them are extremely grateful!  APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE! 
But at every social dance (ballroom, swing, country, salsa, tango – it doesn’t matter) I have ever been to, there are almost always more women dancers than men.

So, more accurately, why don’t the men who don’t dance, dance?

Clearly since I am not a man that doesn’t dance, I don’t have a clue why the men that don’t dance, well…don’t dance…but I have been told a few different reasons (yup…now I am adding hearsay to generalization…the more literary inaccuracies, the merrier)!  And here are my top 5 (along with my unsolicited thoughts in response):

1)      I’ve got two left feet.  (Really?  Fascinating!  Where do you buy your shoes?  And who really knows whether or not the orientation of your feet would actually have any bearing on your ability to dance?)

2)      I wasn’t born with rhythm.  (Neither was anyone else!  Have you ever seen a newborn counting ‘quick, quick, slow, slow’ to the sound of his mother singing a lullaby? Rhythm and timing are learned skills.  Were you born knowing how to throw a football?)

3)      I don’t want to.  (Possibly, but why not?  What is the real reason that you don’t want to dance?  Some good possibilities do come to mind, but they are somewhat unusual.  In what other public situation do you get the opportunity to hold the a woman you may not know for 3 minutes, direct her movements like a puppeteer directs a puppet as you whisk her around the floor, and have her smile, say “thank you” and ask if she may have another when its over?   No….I asked about PUBLIC situations!)

4)      I don’t know how.  (Well, now we are getting somewhere! But I still think there is something missing.  You see, the guy who told me this one had just bluffed his way into a new job that was way above his ability level with a really grand “of course I know how to do that!” attitude about something that he barely know what was, let alone how to do it! Huh?)

5)      Maybe guys can fly.  (If I could fly…ahh but I can’t)

6)      ??????   (I am sure there are many, many more reasons…please drop me a comment and share your thoughts!)

I think the reason that men who don’t dance, don’t dance is that they are afraid. 

I am pretty certain that the one thing that really drives modern man is his fear of looking bad (much different than his ancestors’ fear of being eaten by a saber tooth tiger…back then looking good to the tiger was a very bad thing!).  Even worse, would be his fear of looking bad in front of one or more women.  And, oh dear, worst of all would be his fear of looking bad in front of one or more women that he likes or loves or wants to like or love!

Unfortunately, if we have to admit that no one is born knowing how to dance and that in order to learn we need to go to classes or take lessons, then we are going to have to risk looking bad while we learn to dance.

The good news?  Everyone else in those classes is taking the same risk and struggling with the same fears and concerns.  Dance classes are a very safe place to risk looking bad, so long as they are taught by a good instructor (but more on that some other day).  So…modern men unit!  Be brave!  Make many women happy (that alone should be worth the risk)!  Find a good partner dance class and LEARN TO DANCE!